John Krasinski is back as Jack Ryan in the second season of the Amazon show. Throughout this, I’m gonna be breaking down everything that you need to know about the new release as well as what happens at the end and where it could lead to.
There will be heavy spoilers here so if you haven’t had a chance to watch Jack Ryan yet and don’t want to know what happens then I highly recommend that you turn off now.
With that out the way I just wanna give a huge thank you for clicking this, now let’s get into our breakdown of Jack Ryan Season 2!
Jack Ryan Season 1 Recap
Season 1 of Jack Ryan followed the titular character tracking down a terrorist known as the Seuliman a villain that was thought to be the next Bin Ladin.
Though Ryan managed to stop him it was due to underhanded tactics and it’s clear that the Shadow Recruit was becoming more involved in the darker side of special ops than he initially wanted to be.
In the end, Ryan was promoted to Head of T-Fed and his colleague Agent Greer, sorry, Officer Greer was relocated to Russia.
Jack Ryan Season 2 Recap
Season 2 begins in the South China sea with a missile being launched that contains an unregistered satellite and it elevates exponentially from there. The second season takes a real turn early on by not painting out the villains as Russia, China or even South Korea but instead by saying that the threat that we should be worried about is Venezuela.
Look yeah, I didn’t believe it either.
Whilst initially you and the characters might scoff and think that the country isn’t even worth paying attention to pretty, this much sums up the entire second season of Jack Ryan and all of the characters involved have to fly under the radar throughout in order to not bring attention to their operations or tactics. Senator Mitchell Chapin eventually ends up allowing Ryan to go but it’s clear he’s not pleased with the turn of events. No one wants to upset the Venezuelan government due to their relationship already being on a knifes edge and there is a real sense of the characters having to operate in the shadows in order to bring things to the light.
The plot this time doesn’t really revolve around stopping a terrorist or defusing a ticking time bomb at the last second and instead the season two sees Ryan getting involved in an election that will topple the government.
It’s quite a smart move and whilst initially it was theorised that the second season would follow the Sum Of All Fears, the eight-episode run pushes in a different direction that due to its nature feels unpredictable. TV Shows and Movies are just so full of the same situations involving the same countries and this is a refreshing take that massively grants the show with a side that we don’t often see.
Hit The Road Jack
Ryan himself also starts the season vastly different from how he was in the first run and he begins as a lecturer, teaching foreign economics to aspiring agents. However, he has been monitoring Venezuela and after bringing it to the attention of his superiors that he believes Russia is selling weapons to the country, he is tasked with moving in to investigate further.
Under the cover of Diplomacy Ryan visits the country and sees just how poverty-stricken it is. What it does is push the narrative that the government there is indeed greedy and neglects its people. This not only gets you invested in the plight of the people there but also the narrative of the show which is taking those in power down.
Mirroring this investigation is Greer who also has been monitoring the movements of Venezuala and he’s quickly thrown back into the mix with Jack as the work together to take down the dictatorship in the country.
Season Two definitely feels more focused than the prior entry and doesn’t mess. This is a very focused run and it gets you more invested in Ryan who feels like a fully fleshed-out character this time that Krasinski has been allowed to make his own, rather than feeling like he had to conform to the traditional depictions as I felt he was last time.
‘We Live In A Society’
The subject matter at hand also allows provides a comment on modern-day politics and in the same way that Russia is rumored to have been involved in the most recent US election, there’s a real sense to the piece as to whether Ryan should really be doing this or if governments should just mind their own business. They end up backing the dictator President Reyes’ political rival Gloria Bonalde, someone that wants to bring democracy to the country and provide an ‘honest election.’
As an audience member, I was really left to question if this was actually an honest election to the interference and the show does a great job of reminding us that politics is well…always going to be politics.
Whilst Reyes is clearly a bad guy, there are also additional villains such as the assassin played by Tom Wlaschiha. You might remember him as Jaqen from Game Of Thrones in which he played the Faceless man and similar to that portrayal he brings a real air of intelligence and darkness with him. The guy just seems like he was born to play assassins like this and he does an incredible job of providing an understated foe for Ryan to go up against.
A New Kind Of Threat
I always felt like the Suleiman stole the limelight a bit in the first season but this time round all of the villains of the piece balance Ryan, complimenting him instead of detracting.
In the first episode, he launches an attack against Ryan and Co and it’s a really enthralling scene that feels like it was ripped straight out of a Bourne movie. The Assassin perfectly paints himself out as a real threat and lets you know that this Venezuela is definitely worth keeping a close eye on. Jack loses an ally early on and really has to get his head in the game for this season which is far more underhanded than the prior entry.
Reyes denies orchestrating the attack and after being allowed to remain in the country due to the wake of it he infiltrates a jungle compound with a special ops team headed up by Matisse. It’s one of the high points of the season and it’s here that Ryan discovers chemicals and they end up losing a soldier behind enemy lines which ends up being a great subplot that’s tense and feels like an enthralling way to take the show. It’s also at this point that he comes face to face with a mercenary played by The Mummy that plays into the ending of the series. It gradually escalates as the show goes on and it has flashes of the film Lone Survivor which definitely is no bad thing.
Ryan takes a trip to London and manages to catch up with the assassin who is killed by a spy played wonderfully by Noomi Rapace and upon returning to Venezuela, Reyes captures both Jack and Greer, revealing that he knows who they are.
He accuses the US government of tampering in the U.S. election when it looks like Bonalde has a real chance of taking down his regime and the villain really begins to play his hand. The US embassy is bombarded with mobs and evacuated leading Greer and Ryan to defy orders and go off-grid.
Reyes calls a snap election and Greer is betrayed and captured. Enlisting the help of the Chief of the CIA in Venezuala, Mike November, Jack does whatever it takes to get his friend back.
He returns to the jungle camp that he infiltrated earlier in the movie and recruits the mercs from earlier in order to rescue Greer and other political prisoners from a camp located deep in the jungle. Reyes orders them to be executed after America brings down one of the country’s unregistered satellites.
Breaking into the camp, Ryan and co move on the soldiers mid execution but Greer has been relocated to the Presidential house as the rioting in the capital intensifies. Here they find Matisse’s body who was killed earlier in the season and things really heat up.
Jack Ryan Season 2 Ending
It leads to a great finale that clearly has desperation on both sides with The President clearly on the back foot and Jack at his wits end trying to bring an end to the conflict without completely destabilising the country.
Reyes is really a cut-throat man literally and he kills his right hand and also fixes the results of the polls in order to retain power. Jack leaks images of the execution in the camp to news sites and this ends up leading the people of the country to turn on their government. Jack and Mike head to the residence to get Greer personally. Time to go Rainbox Six on these punks and it doesn’t disappoint.
There’s a real closing of the loop here with the special ops team getting revenge for Matisse and Ryan taking on the President himself, however, Mike stops him from killing the country’s leader at the last second due to the political ramifications that it would carry. The people of Venezuela storm the President’s home.
Bonalde is officially elected after the results of the democratic vote are revealed which gives some hope that Venezuala finally has a chance. They reunite her with her husband who was a political prisoner and one of Reye’s captives.
Season 2 Ending Explained
This leaves Jack and Greer to return to the US with the latter announcing that he is stepping down from fieldwork. The season has had a real toll on the character but he decides to take a step back. Now whether he will or not is up for debate but if we look at the source material, Greer eventually gets promoted to the position of the Deputy Director of the CIA and I can imagine that in the third season this is where the character will progress to.
He obviously has a close friendship with Jack and this will help to improve the access to equipment that the character has in the future.
Jack returns to Washington, stating that though they got Reyes he thinks that they missed something. When investigating Reyes shell company Cinco Palmas they discovered that he only owned half of the company and the other half was owned by an American associate. Ryan reveals that he has tracked everything back to Senator Chapin. Chapin deliberately funded Venezuela due to a fear of China overtaking the US if they have less competition. Thus he has been providing them in order to build their government and give America n ally should things come to it.
Chapin states that if he sweeps this under the rug that Ryan will be able to run for Congress but Ryan declines it and walks away from it into a future where there’s one less corrupt soul in Government and one more good one in a country that sorely needs it.
Jack Ryan Season 2 Review
But what did I think of the season overall, well Jack Ryan indeed builds upon the first season in many interesting ways, toning things back slightly, simplifying the narrative and therefore making for a more engaging journey. This feels like the season that the first one should have been and they get many elements, including Jack’s depiction, right this time around.
There’s action, drama and a two-sided nature to the narrative that perfectly reflects the society that we live in by having the characters operate in shades of grey instead of Black and white.
Amazon also filmed the entire show in ultra HD with HDR that has been given to all prime members without the need to pay extra like how you do on Netflix. This allows the show to look incredible and there’s a skydiving scene in the third episode over the coast of Venezuela that looks absolutely stunning.
With it being a relatively quiet weekend at the cinema and not much else being on Netflix, I definitely recommend that you check this out this weekend as at just eight episodes it’s a really easy watch that provides a fun time for the viewer.
This delivers exactly what I wanted from Jack Ryan and it gets an…
Obviously I’d love to hear your thoughts on Jack Ryan Season 2 and what you took from the season. What do you hope to see next time and do you agree with my score?
Comment below and let me know!